Accents - Infectious?

This was inspired by the Accents - Southern Dopers? thread.

We’ve all run into various accents - some are amusing, some are endearing, some are repulsive and some are infectious. I’ve spoken with many Indians and Chinese. Some Indians have almost no accent, but those that do have an accent characterized by emphasis on syllables we’re not expecting in conjunction with grammatically correct English. I can do a great immitation of one of my favorite Physics profs (Indian) and one of my best friends, Wai-Ching (guess), but those are immitations.

What I’ve noticed is that certain accents are infectious. I dated a gal for a while (my friend from the [url=http://www.straightdope.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/002585.html]Have you ever been stalked?) thread who had a Brooklyn accent and I used to run with a couple of Irish gals. Those accents are infectious. There’s something about the meter/rythm that causes one to begin a poor immitation thereof after a few hours of exposure to a natural user of such.

I speak with a sort-of Scottish accent for hours after watching Braveheart.

And british after prolonged exposure to Monty Python.

Scottish accents are British accents too, TN. The word you’re looking for in your second sentence is “English.”

I live in an Irish neighborhood, and a good proportion of my friends/roommates/etc. over the past few years have been Irish (or Scottish). I’ve picked up a lot of their slang, but I wouldn’t even dream of trying to pick up their accent. That would just be silly. IMHO.

Whenever I got to the Renaissance festival I try to adopt an English accent. Then I go talk to a friend of a friend named Paul, and always end up leaving with his character’s Morraccan (sp?) accent. Sigh.


Cessandra

Why sex is better than religion: No need to rest on Sundays!

Sometimes I have to try extra hard to not absorb the accent of whoever I’m talking to.

Especially infectious accents for me:

British
German
Irish
Jamacian
East Texas Southern


You say “cheesy” like that’s a BAD thing.

Some people seem to have an ear for accents, even without thinking, just being where the accent(s) is/are in the air and before you know it, they are immitating.

I can’t carry a tune and don’t have this “problem” myself but have heard children add the Mexican way of ending sentences (as if they were American questions) to their Boston accents…a wonder for the ear.

Accents to me are a kind of “frosting on the cake” (I even love “bad Mafia Italian” accents in the movies) and wish we could celebrate these differences instead of making fun of them.

I have to add, in all honesty, that I find some of the New Jersey accents very annoying, I don’t make of them, I just don’t listen.

I pick up accents really easily…

Last Summer I spent a week in Regina,Saskatchewan… at one point I had gone into a grocery store and the cashier thought I was a local.

Same thing happened in Toronto (for those who think that in Canada EVERYONE sounds he same…it’s not true…there are regional accents there too…<G>).

Southern U.S., Northeastern U.S., English… put me in close contact with someone with a noticable accent, and I will pick it up in almost no time…

I never thought I had much of an accent, having grown up in CA, but I sometimes hear a tinge of Philly accent (leftover from my young childhood).


Mom always said there’d be days like this…she just never said there’d be so MANY of them!!!

Andrea: Thank you, thank you!!!
My husband thinks I’m crazy. According to him, “You don’t forget how to talk just because you hear other people.”
I only have to be around other accents for a short time to begin to pick them up. I have to fight not to.
I tell myself it’s because I have a good ear, but it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

It is and you’re not. Conversation with someone from Mexico starts me softening my 'd’s and rolling my 'r’s… I can’t talk to anyone from Texas without starting to twang along with them. Cain’t hep mesef!

I also have an ear for languages, picking up words and phrases with relative ease. I think these things are tied together.


StoryTyler
I am too in shape! :::muttering::: Round is a shape.
C’mon up and see me sometime.

I took French in high school… failed it because (A) I hated the teacher, and (B) I had a MISERABLE time with the translations.

BUT… my pronunciation was great! My teacher used to get so frustrated with me…she thought that since I was pronouncing it correctly then I shouldn’t be having any problems with the meanings. ::shrug::::


Mom always said there’d be days like this…she just never said there’d be so MANY of them!!!

For years after visiting Australia in the navy I slipped into an outback accent whenever drinking.

I am very good at this and have been since I was a little kid. I have studied three languages other than English in my life and when I speak with native speakers, they all tell me my pronounciation is excellent.

My best friend is American but has been living in France for the past decade. Her husband is French. Last time I visited them we went out to a bar. I wanted to go get another round of drinks, but didn’t know how to ask for it in French. I asked my friend’s husband how to say it, went to the bar, and just repeated what I’d been told. It was no problem. When I got back to the table, my friend was complaining that in all her time there, people are always asking her to repeat herself and yet I, not really knowing any French, was understood at the first go’round.

And I do find many accents infectious. A few days in London and I just can’t help myself.


“I should not take bribes and Minister Bal Bahadur KC should not do so either. But if clerks take a bribe of Rs 50-60 after a hard day’s work, it is not an issue.” ----Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, Current Prime Minister of Nepal